SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The Mountain Goat statue in Upper Onondaga Park has two new names on it ahead of the 44th edition of the classic Syracuse road race.
Every year, new names are added to the Mountain Goat Run Hall of Fame. This year, one of the men selected was former Syracuse police detective and Onondaga County District Attorney's Office investigator John Nolan.
Nolan was a long-time runner in the race, competing every year except for the time it coincided with his daughter's first communion. He also helped with safety traffic checkpoints for the training runs ahead of the Mountain Goat. He died suddenly on Christmas Eve at 59 years old.
Newly appointed Syracuse Police Chief Joe Cecile was on hand Friday night to induct Nolan into the Hall of Fame. He spoke about his relationship with Nolan, which stretched back to the days they worked at Sibley's together in Syracuse.
"Compassion is one of the things that made John Nolan one of the best detectives our department has ever seen, bar none," Chief Cecile said.
Nolan's wife and daughter were also at the event. His daughter, Delaney, is continuing her father's tradition, running in this year's race. She recalled years of long runs with her dad, waving at neighbors and friends who drove by and gave the pair a wide berth while they made their way down local roads.
"I leave you with one request," she said. "As you drive down the road on those early mornings, just leave a little more space on the side of the road for John Nolan."
The Syracuse Police Benevolent Association and Onondaga County District Attorney's Office created a joint fundraiser selling 'Team Nolan' shirts in support of Nolan. It raised $7,000 for the American Heart Association.
Rich Rima was the second man inducted into the Hall of Fame Friday evening. Rima has participated in the Mountain Goat for more than 40 years.